Who ya gonna call? Myth Busters- The truth about nutrition rumors

I am always trying to eat healthier, and, in turn, I am also a sucker for the ever-changing nutrition rumors.

Having said that, I decided I would look up several of these “myths,” and see if they were actually accurate.

First, I have always been lead to believe that calories eaten late at night were more of a detriment to your body than calories eaten early in the morning. According to Eatingwell.com, this is not the case at all.

“Calories are calories are calories, and it doesn’t matter what time you eat them,” John Foreyt, Ph.D., said. “What matters are the total calories you take in.”

Next, as someone who has struggled with acne, I always strayed away from chocolate. I actually don’t really like it, but that’s a different story. According to DukeHealth.org, this myth isn’t necessarily true either.

“Chocolate has been implicated in the role of acne for decades without any convincing data to support or refute this theory,” Dermatologist Diana McShane said. “Studies that specifically address the association of diet and acne are difficult to design with enough power to determine true cause and effect.”

In other words, this rumor does not have sufficient evidence besides its centuries-old history.

Another myth I’ve always wondered about follows the new gluten-free fad. Working in a restaurant, I have come across many people who request the gluten –free menu, but they admit right away their diet is a lifestyle choice not an allergy.

Tricia Thompson, R.D., said such a diet only benefits those who suffer from celiac disease.

Going gluten-free helps them become more energetic and feel better all around, Thompson said. When it comes to those who do not have the autoimmune condition, a gluten-free diet will not have these results and will have “probably no benefit,” she said.

The last thing I wanted to look up was the benefit of becoming a vegetarian. I have always considered making the diet change, and I’ve heard from many people that it can increase your health.

On the contrary, according to Judd Handler, of mnn.com, living the life of a vegetarian has several health benefits, but the diet can also increase a person’s risk of colorectal cancer, lower bone mineral density and lower levels of vitamin B12.

While these factors should be considered, Handler said studies have consistently been insignificant when it comes to determining how harmful any of these risks can be.

These are just a few of the myths that I have always been curious about. If you have anymore, please don’t hesitate to email me at BowenAK15@uww.edu, and I will research and post them on this blog.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~

Abbey :]

Staying Fit While Eating on Campus

The term “freshmen 15” is thrown around a little too loosely on college campuses. Unfortunately, this is because too many of us find ourselves caught in this cycle of weight gain. The cause: inadequate diets.

UW-Whitewater’s dining services, provided by Chartwells, actually do a lot to make sure students can eat on campus and stay fit. I don’t live on campus, so I focused solely on meals provided by restaurants in the University Center.

To prove that students can maintain a healthy diet on campus, I examined each restaurant separately to find out what a typical diet might look like.

Let’s start with breakfast. Breakfast in Ike Schaffer Commons, or “U.C. breakfast” as all of my friends call it, is a popular attraction for many students before they head off to their first class of the day. The Commons offers a plethora of typical breakfast foods. From egg sandwiches, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal and more, the Commons breakfast has it all.

The entrees in the Commons have 178 calories on average. According to Livestrong.com , breakfast should make up about 350 to 500 calories in someone’s diet. By these standards, you could have two servings at the buffet-style restaurant.

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day because it kick starts metabolism and helps maintain high energy levels throughout the day.

Moving on to lunch, the average calorie count for a sandwich at Graham St. Café is 429. This may be a little high for someone of average height and weight, but most of the calories, which describe the amount of energy a food provides when you eat it (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/better-choices/amount-calories.html), come from the average of approximately 30 grams of protein per serving.

Protein is essential for the average student’s diet. It promotes brain activity and aids neurotransmitters when they are transferred.

Now for dinner, Yan Can Cook, the ethnic restaurant located in the Commons, serves egg rolls, fried rice, stir fry and more. Such dishes inquire a caloric intake of 290. Studies done at Kansas City State suggest an individual should save 30 percent of their daily calorie intake for dinner time. Dinners at Yan Can Cook are fairly low when it comes to calories, but that just means that you have more room for fruits and veggies to accompany your meal.

The numbers I have provided are very vague, and I gave general numbers to prove the restaurants are providing healthy meals overall. Information about Willie’s 360, Freshens or Uno due Go was not provided by the university.

To find out more about meals offered in Ike Schaffer Commons, Graham St. Café, Yan Can Cook, Esker, Prairie St. or Drumlin, you can visit: http://www.dineoncampus.com/uww/show.cfm?cmd=nutrition.

In addition to providing healthy meals for students, Chartwells has made several changes to help students keep track of the foods they’re eating.

Chartwells recently created an app for Android users and installed a nutrition kiosk, which was described by Marketing Director Ann Rakowiecki as an “iPad app,” in Esker.

The dining service has also teamed up with 411fit.com (a site that allows users to keep journals of their healthy eating. Based on the profiles students create, the site can also provide information about the foods their calories should be coming from, and the types of exercise they should be doing on a weekly basis.

There are a lot of fun and exciting changes on campus to make healthy eating more fun and easy. All you have to do is take the first step to live a better life!

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~

Abbey :]